Another great day in the city of Chicago! Yesterday we felt like true residents of the city as we spent the majority of the day holding an umbrella and bundled up in jackets. The morning started off nice; a little chilly, but dry. We walked around the city a bit and made our way down to the Riverwalk, which was gorgeous. One side is a long path that stretches all the way to Navy Pier and the other side is lined with flowers, benches, restaurants, and shops. In the middle stretched the river all the way through and it was so pretty, I am not sure what they do to it but it is a really pretty turquoise color. I am not sure what the boats are called that haul a bunch of people up and down but we got to see those pass through as well. This would be a great place to hang out in the summer; I think more things might be open then. As a place to go I would say it was an eight out of ten.
By this time we were starving – the Starbucks coffee and yogurt had worn off after the amount of walking we did – what better place to eat and feel like you live in Chicago – underneath Michigan Avenue! We went to a place called ‘Billy Goat Tavern,’ it was the original one, which is basically down in a basement. The location is famous for being on Saturday Night Live in the 50’s. We walked down stars and were standing at the counter, before we could even read the yellowed menu signs the lady working behind the counter basically ordered for us: “Double cheeseburger is the best.” And, with those words we just said that was fine. It is similar to an Oklahoma Joes set up where your food is ready by the time you pay. You put on your garnishes and then find a table. In the hast of people I managed to get ketchup all over my white long sleeve…thank goodness I didn’t knock all of the bottles of condiments over. It was such a cool place, full of locals who were on their lunch break I am assuming. There was an old wooden bar that was wrapped around one side, and men cooking who looked like the opened the place years ago. The burger was really good. The original Billy Goat would get a seven out of ten for food, and a ten out of ten for atmosphere.
After we left it was past sprinkling and was raining pretty good. We stopped and bought an umbrella and no joke – this was the first time I had carried and used an umbrella in several years. I think I forgot that when you carry an umbrella you cannot fit into the same places you can without it. It was an interesting experience. We spent the rest of the day shopping up and down Michigan Avenue and enjoying all of the buildings and people watching.
Again, we were starving! We headed to Giordano’s for some famous deep dish pizza. Incredible. I don’t really know what else to say. The wait was completely worth it. We were able to pre order our pizza while we had a couple of drinks at the old bar and waited for our table. We had salads and ordered a deep dish Italian sausage and pepperoni. First, thank God we ordered a small. Second, we were amazed and I think we could eat it every day. You know pizza is good when you don’t even have to put ranch on it! It was the best pizza we had ever eaten. The perfect amount of bread, sauce, toppings, and cheese. They have nailed it. It would score a ten out of ten in every area.
Still raining, we grabbed some more coffee and took our leftovers back to the hotel. One of our friends lives in Chicago so we joined him at Pippin’s Tavern to hang out and have drinks. Another completely local place I am pretty sure. It had an old dark wooden round bar – similar to the set up on Cheer’s. The drinks, music, and company were great. We had a lot of fun, and we can definitely see why it is a city favorite.
All in all, the day was great! We really lived the Chicago resident life yesterday between the rain and hanging out at local dives. Overall successful day! Can’t wait to see what the rest will bring!